Jon Wilkin believes Super League stars are being overlooked in favour of NRL talent following win over Samoa as he picks out St Helens and Warrington Wolves men

England stunned Samoa in the opening game of the World Cup at St James’ Park this weekend.

England were the underdogs going into the game but came away with a thumping 60-6 win vindicating the bold selection decisions Shaun Wane made.

It was a team performance from 1-17 with no bad performers in an England shirt as they claimed a statement win.

However, much of the focus was put on the NRL talent leading the way. Victor Radley controversially got Man of the Match which Jon Wilkin wasn’t exactly happy about, Tom Burgess and Elliot Whitehead got tries in the pack whilst Dom Young and Herbie Farnworth got tries out wide.

The narrative was that they led the way, and they certainly did but perhaps this has left Super League stars being overlooked.

Tommy Makinson and Kallum Watkins were excellent as well as were the halfbacks in St Helens’ Jack Welsby and Warrington’s George Williams.

Both crossed for tries and helped engineer the majority of the scores in the 10-try demolition of Samoa.

After the game, Wilkin believed the pair were being overlooked in favour of NRL talent as he said on BBC: “I love the NRL players and their contributions, but Jack Welsby and George Williams are playing in the Super League and they’re the best two players on the pitch.

“I love the NRL and the confidence it has given our international team, it’s a different confidence against southern hemisphere teams but when we look through the tries, the finger prints of Welsby and Williams are all over them.”

Both were key, as were the NRL stars. All of England’s squad however will be central to any success attained in the World Cup.

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